The Big Night In!

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We have worked closer than ever with NHS professionals during the pandemic and seen first-hand its effects. So, when Christina Bassadone, our Guardian Angel Carers founder, heard from the charity Duty to Care that over 74% of NHS professionals were experiencing a significant pandemic impact on their mental health and well-being, she wanted to help.

“I am delighted that Guardian Angel Carers will host Big Night In to raise funds for NHS workers. We work so closely with them and see first-hand the toll this period is taking on them. As carers, it feels right to do something to help look after those that look after us,” Christina Bassadone, Founder, Guardian Angel Carers

We’ve teamed up with the ever-upbeat, West Sussex based DJ Covell to work his music magic, and headline his set into our sitting rooms via Zoom. From 7 pm to 11 pm, on Saturday 30th January, he will play us some dance anthems, feature break out rooms, host a scavenger hunt and lead the ‘best hat competition’. It will be a Saturday night with a difference, to make a difference.

So, while raising funds for NHS professionals to access qualified mental health and well-being support via Duty to Care, together with our families and friends, we will be enjoying the uplifting power of music and dance for a Big Night In.

Duty to Care recognises the support is much needed. This month they have seen the highest demand from NHS professionals seeking help for the mental and physical exhaustion they are facing daily. Founder, Harriet Hunt, and her team are working on providing them with online access to qualified mental health therapists and wellness experts encouraging them to begin that process ASAP to get immediate support.

“It’s humbling to know that carers, who are under significant pressures themselves, are coming together to support NHS professionals and wonderful to know that Big Night In will bring a smile and be good fun – we all need that.” Harriet Hunt, Duty To Care

The impact of mental health issues upon a person’s well-being is something Harriet understands well. Six years ago, her anaesthetist husband experienced anxiety and found it hard to deal with work-related pressure, “It came as a shock,” she says, “We found ways to cope through Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and lifestyle changes, and he got back on track, but I also saw others who had to wait because the mental health and well-being support was not readily available.”

It’s why, when the ramifications of dealing with COVID-19 on NHS workers became apparent, she set up the Duty to Care charity.

“Our recent survey of NHS professionals highlighted that 70% of respondents reported they suffer from anxiety, 64% experience sleep problems and over half depression or low mood, with irritability 49%. We want to help them get access to mental health and well-being support that can help them, for both now, a time like no other, and for the future to help them deal with the unique pressures of working in health” Harriet Hunt, Founder, Duty to Care

The charity has come a long way in a year, with a directory that now includes CBT therapists, psychotherapists, mindfulness teachers, meditation experts, breath-work experts, nutritional therapists, personal trainers, yoga teachers and life coaches. Anyone working for the NHS, Doctors, Nurses and Porters through to the administration and management behind the scenes, can access it, plus find practical advice and information.

Those that do are finding sessions hugely beneficial. Because it’s all online, they can also fit in it around long hours and shift work. So, people who haven’t addressed their mental health before can get help at the click of a button, in private, without having to summon up the courage to go for treatment physically. Word of mouth is getting through and recent funds from the British Medical Association have also helped them get the message to more NHS professionals.

The Duty to Care initiatives align well with Guardian Angel Carers. As Christina points out, “When I set up Guardian Angel Carers, I was keen to foster openness about mental health and wellness matters. It comes from my years in a pressured Olympic training environment”. Today the company, together with its Guardian Angel Carer franchises, has a well-established, and award-winning mental health and well-being programme. It is available to all the team, for both office and CareAngels to access. Christina is clear, “There’s no doubt about the benefits these initiatives bring and I’m certain they will too for all the NHS workers for whom we hope to raise funds.”

Set against a backdrop of the most challenging period for NHS professionals, Big Night In aims to bring some happiness whilst doing some good. It’s been a long, challenging time and we’re looking forward to bringing the Guardian Angel Carers team together to enjoy a moment to be in the moment, raise our arms in the air and dance.

All the Guardian Angel Carers team, their friends and family are invited, with all proceeds from Big Night In will be donated to Duty to Care. Our tickets are free and donations can be made on the night. For more information on how to join take a look at our social page events.

If you would like to donate to this wonderful cause separately, please feel free to contact us and see how you can donate.